Getting to Know Our New CEO – A Brief Q&A with Daniel Lipparelli
This month, the NeighborHealth team is thrilled to welcome Daniel Lipparelli as our new CEO. Here, we’ll spend a few minutes getting to know more about Daniel, his nonprofit leadership experience, and what inspired him to join the NeighborHealth family.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, including something interesting that most people don’t know about you.
I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada in a Christian family where I learned early on the value and importance of giving and serving others.
Being active at church, participating in Scouts, and volunteering with various non-profit organizations from a young age inspired me to build a life based around giving of myself and leading others to do the same – although I never knew I could make it my life’s work until after college.
Just after earning my bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Nevada, Reno, I traveled to Kenya for a 6-month volunteer role where I worked at an orphanage. By the end of my 6 months, they offered me a full-time job where I served as the country director for several years.
From there, I founded my own non-profit organization, which kept me busy in Kenya for another six years – during which time I met my wife who was also there working with a nonprofit organization.
We got married and spent our first year of marriage in Kenya, and eventually made our way back to the states where we welcomed our son (who is now seven years old) into our family. We also have a two-year-old Basset hound who has quickly established his role in the family, too.
Something most people don’t know about me is that I was a competitive gymnast as a child. I competed until I was 16, which required practicing for six hours, six days a week for years. I stopped competing to begin coaching, which was probably my first true taste of leadership, something I truly enjoyed.
Q: What inspired you to move across the country to join the NeighborHealth family?
During my visit to NeighborHealth, I was instantly struck by the incredible staff and leadership – in all my career, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I’ve made it my life’s work to serve the underserved, so the organization’s mission really resonates with me.
Even more importantly, I was actively looking for a leadership role with a Christian-based organization that would allow me to bring my faith into the workplace. My family and I had already agreed that we’d be happy to relocate for the right role and once we met the NeighborHealth team and saw all that North Carolina and the Triangle area had to offer, it was an easy decision. We are so excited to be here.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style? How will you apply that here at NeighborHealth?
I don’t work over my team. Instead, I prefer to work alongside my colleagues and make decisions together. At the same time, I’m willing to jump in and do whatever is needed to get the job done, so I like to think I’m a servant, collaborative leader.
Here at NeighborHealth, my job will be to work with our leadership team and staff to ensure we’re positioned to achieve the growth our community needs from us. It’s also my priority to ensure our staff are equipped to do their jobs well and that they feel cared for during a time that’s extremely challenging for healthcare workers.
I’m really looking forward to working with our staff, co-leading this next stage of growth together, and ultimately preparing us all for NeighborHealth’s bright future.
Q: What was one of the most powerful moments in your life, and what did you learn from that experience?
I’d have to say making the decision to start my own non-profit organization in Kenya was a very pivotal moment in my life. I was only 25 years old, but I saw so many unmet needs that I felt strongly that there was so much work to be done.
While the work we were doing at the orphanage was incredible, I saw so many orphan children with family nearby (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.) who wanted to help, but simply didn’t have the financial means to care for them.
That’s why I established a home-based care program for orphan children that allowed children to get the care they needed – while keeping them in their own community with their own family. The agency grew significantly, and over the years we added programs such as a trade school for at-risk teen mothers, and a small home for HIV positive children that gave them better access to life-saving medical care.
I was so fortunate to have a great deal of support behind me, but establishing an international non-profit at such a young age was a powerful life moment for me.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
As a family, we really enjoy long weekend road trips. Exploring our surroundings and visiting new areas is one of our most cherished past times. Basically, I enjoy anything outdoors – hiking or camping and anything I can do with my family. We can’t wait to explore our new surroundings here in beautiful North Carolina!
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